Liberal Studies - B.S.

Effective May 17, 2024 FYS1020 and CAR0010 will no longer be requirements in our undergraduate programs.

Through the required and elective courses in the Liberal Studies bachelor's degree program, students acquire knowledge and experience in the arts, cultural studies, history, philosophy, behavioral sciences, math and science that prepares them to enter the workforce in business, nonprofit, government, and arts and cultural organizations. The degree also prepares them for further graduate studies. In addition, the program includes experiential learning through an internship, service learning and an optional study abroad.

Key differentiators of the JWU Liberal Studies degree program include a requirement that students complete a minor, the inclusion of a heightened form of experiential learning, and in-depth advising in fulfillment of the mission. The required minor is intended to ensure that students have an introduction to a profession or set of professional skills prior to program completion or are prepared to undertake graduate studies. 

Upon completion of the program, graduates are expected to:

  • Apply oral and written rhetorical strategies to communicate complex arguments.
  • Apply appropriate disciplinary criteria to examine complex issues, analyze arguments, conduct credible research, solve problems, make ethical decisions and create original ideas and/or approaches.
  • Synthesize and apply knowledge from multiple perspectives to evaluate complex issues and address real-world problems.
  • Critically examine and interpret the complexities of human culture, expression and/or behavior using the theories and methods of various disciplines in the humanities, social sciences and natural sciences.

Liberal Studies

A four-year program leading to the bachelor of science degree

Major Courses
ART, HIST, LIT, PHIL, RELOne course 2000 level or higher3
BIO, CHM, PHY or SCIOne course 1000 level or higher3
ECON, PSCI, PSYC, SOCOne course 2000 level or higher3
Foreign Language3 credits as determined by language placement3
LIBS4900Liberal Studies Capstone: The Great Conversation3
Major Focus
Choose one of the following:15
Arts & Culture
ART, HIST, LIT, PHIL, REL, SOC: One course 2000 level or higher
ART, HIST, LIT, PHIL, REL, SOC: Four courses 3000 level or higher
Science & Society
MATH: One course 1000 level or higher
BIO, CHM, ECON, PHY, PSCI, PSYC, SCI, SOC: Four courses 3000 level or higher
Select any minor from offerings within the university (some minors may be offered online only) *15
Applied/Experiential Learning
Choose 6 credits from the following:6
College of Arts & Sciences Internship Ic
Directed Experiential Education D
Undergraduate Laboratory and Field Research
Undergraduate Research Experience
Honors Directed Academic Experience
Study Abroad Sa
Related Professional Studies
Arts & Sciences Electives9 credits with an EASC attribute selected from offerings within the College of Arts & Sciences.9
CAR0010Career Management1
FYS1020First-Year Seminar1
A&S Core Experience
Communications Foundation Courses 9
Rhetoric & Composition I
Rhetoric & Composition II
Communication Skills
Integrative Learning 6
Two ILS courses, one at the 2000 level, one at the 4000 level
Arts and Humanities 6
Two courses from different disciplines: ART, HIST, HUM, LIT, PHIL or REL
A Survey of College Mathematics (or higher, based on student's placement)
Statistics I
SCI1010 Environmental Science
Social Sciences 6
Two courses from different disciplines: ANTH, ECON, GEND, LEAD, PSCI, PSYC, RES or SOC
A&S Electives6
Two courses with an EASC attribute
Free Electives #
18 credits selected from 1000-4999 numbered offerings within the university18
Total Credits122.0

Students are responsible for meeting prerequisites.

IcTypically, internships require a minimum of six credits. Students interested in a 9 or 12-credit internship can apply additional experiential learning and free elective credits, if available. Students are strongly encouraged to contact a faculty advisor before scheduling internship and free elective credits.

D Directed Experiential Education (DEE) opportunities are based on project availability with community partners and student eligibility. For more information, visit Experiential Education & Career Services (EE&CS). 

SaTo be eligible to count toward Applied/ Experiential Learning, a Study Abroad offering must meet certain requirements. Contact JWU Global to discuss eligible Study Abroad options for this degree program.

#  In addition to classes, free elective credits may be applied to a number of options such as internship, study abroad, Directed Experiential Education courses and courses in a specialization or minor as relevant. For students who qualify for the J2 program, up to four graduate courses may apply. Students are strongly encouraged to contact a faculty advisor before scheduling free elective credits.


Note: Students must pass MATH0010 Pre-Algebra or have equivalent placement scores to enroll in required math courses.

Note: Students must pass ENG0001 Writing Workshop or have equivalent placement scores to enroll in ILS 2000-level courses.

In collaboration with academic colleges across all JWU campuses, JWU Global Study Abroad programs offer a variety of international, domestic, and digital options for major, minor, free electives, experiential learning, and transferable courses. There are many affordable options for students during a semester, winter session, spring and/or summer breaks.  Faculty-led, exchange, affiliate, and direct-enroll programs range in duration from one week to a full semester or full year. Financial aid may be applied, and some partners offer external scholarships.  Premiere programs do not qualify for JWU scholarships or grants; however federal aid is available.  Visit the study abroad website for information, program descriptions and online applications. Where will you go? Wherever you decide, make the best of your educational journey!


Johnson & Wales University holistically reviews all elements of a student’s application to identify those students most likely to succeed at the university.

For students applying as a first-year student, a completed application and high school transcript(s) are required, except in circumstances where a student is homeschooled or where the traditional high school transcript is, for various reasons, not available. For students applying as a transfer student, a completed application, high school and/or college transcript(s) is required for admissions review. 

Successful candidates for first year admission have taken a high school, college preparatory academic program including English, mathematics, science, social science and foreign language. Admissions decisions may also consider individual experiences and particular circumstances unique to each student. Other considerations are made based upon recommendations, writing ability and extracurricular activities.

Visiting campus, both in‐person or virtually, and interacting with admissions staff are all valuable ways of assuring that JWU is the right university for you. 

J2 Program

The JWU J2 program allows qualified students enrolled in a matriculating undergraduate program to take graduate level courses at JWU. Students interested in pursuing this option should meet with their academic advisor to discuss their interest, qualifications, and plans. The undergraduate student may take up to four graduate courses (maximum 12 credits) and are limited to 6 credits a semester and 3 credits per session (Fall Session I and Fall Session II). 

The completion of graduate credits to fulfill undergraduate program requirements does not guarantee acceptance into the graduate program after completion of the baccalaureate degree. Matriculating undergraduate students who wish to formally enroll in a graduate program, must fulfill all requirements for entrance into the intended graduate program and complete a graduate program application. 

Note: Not all graduate courses are included as part of this policy. Courses offered as part of the Masters of Arts in Teaching, Masters of Education, Masters of Science in Physician Assistant Studies and doctoral courses are excluded from this policy and are restricted to program majors only. Additional courses and/or programs as determined by individual colleges may also have restricted access.

Eligibility Criteria:

To be eligible to enroll in graduate level courses (excludes: Masters of Arts in Teaching, Masters of Education, Masters of Science in Physician Assistant Studies, doctoral courses and other programs as outlined by the colleges).

Undergraduate students must meet the following criteria:

·       Undergraduate cumulative GPA of 3.00 or higher

·       Completed & registered undergraduate credits at least 90 credits

·       Meet the individual course prerequisites

Appeal to Eligibility Criteria: College Dean or designee will receive a copy of the Petition Form, Student's GPS and email requesting appeal if the student requests to appeal the GPA or earned/registered credit criteria. College Dean / designee will review and determine approval.  

These courses carry graduate credit and will replace undergraduate degree requirements when applicable, traditionally free-electives (maximum of 12 credits). The course will be applied to the undergraduate degree in the order in which they are taken (if required) and will also be applied towards both the students undergraduate and graduate GPA.

Students should maintain enrollment in at least 12 credits of undergraduate coursework to maintain full-time status; graduate course enrollment is not calculated into undergraduate full-time status. For students already attending full-time as undergraduates (12 credits or more) and paying the full-time tuition, the graduate credits will be included in full-time tuition fee. Students attending part-time (11 credits or less) will pay the cost per-credit undergraduate tuition for the graduate course.

Course registration will be based on space availability and students enrolled in graduate level courses will be required to maintain good academic standing at the undergraduate and graduate level.